Sleep Medications for Insomnia: Limitations and Alternatives

April 4, 2023 Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled:

Sleep Medications for Insomnia: Limitations and Alternatives

A study published recently (January 2023) in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease is the latest confirmation of prior scientific warnings about a potential association between certain prescribed sleeping aids, including benzodiazepines, “Z-hypnotic drugs,” and trazodone, and a significant risk of developing dementia—as high as 79 percent in Caucasian adults, ages 71-77. Additional research suggests these medications also are linked to other adverse effects, namely increased risk of falls and resulting fracturesmemory loss, and confusion among older adults and safety concerns. An article appearing in a 2019 issue of Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience contends that commonly prescribed benzodiazepines for anxiety and sleep suppress the central nervous system and the brain’s awake response to danger, causing some study participants to sleep through loud fire alarms.

But if left untreated, disordered sleep, which involves difficulties falling asleep or remaining asleep during a seven- or eight-hour period, poses problems that can be as disconcerting as the effects of the drugs used to treat it. In Nature and Science of Sleep, for example, scientists indicate short-term consequences of insomnia include increased response to stress, emotional and mood disorders, and cognitive, memory, and performance deficits.

Click HERE for the full article.

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